Microsoft BizTalk Server
Microsoft BizTalk Server, often referred to as simply "BizTalk", is an Enterprise Service Bus. Through the use of "adapters" which are tailored to communicate with different software systems used in an enterprise, it enables companies to automate business processes. Created by Microsoft, it provides the following functions: Enterprise Application Integration, Business Process Automation, Business-To-Business Communication, Message broker, and Business Activity Monitoring. BizTalk Server used to be repositioned as an Application Integration Server but also as an Application Server. Microsoft changed this strategy since they released App fabric server that is their Application Server.
In a common scenario, BizTalk enables companies to integrate and manage automated business processes by exchanging business documents such as purchase orders and invoices between disparate applications, within or across organizational boundaries. Human-centric processes cannot be implemented directly with BizTalk Server and need additional applications like Microsoft SharePoint server.
Development for BizTalk Server is done through Microsoft Visual Studio. A developer can create transformation maps transforming one message type to another (for example an XML file can be transformed to SAP IDocs, etc.). Messages inside BizTalk are implemented through the XML documents and defined with the XML schemas in XSD standard. Maps are implemented with the XSLT standard. Orchestrations are implemented with the WS-BPEL compatible process language xLANG. Schemas, maps, pipelines and orchestrations are created visually using graphical tools within Microsoft Visual Studio. The additional functionality can be delivered by .NET assemblies that can be called from existing modules—including, for instance, orchestrations, maps, pipelines, business rules.
- 2000 - BizTalk Server 2000
- 2002 - BizTalk Server 2002
- 2004 - BizTalk Server 2004 (First version to run on Microsoft .NET 1.0)
- 2006 - BizTalk Server 2006 (First version to run on Microsoft .NET 2.0)
- 2007 - BizTalk Server 2006 R2 (First version to utilize the new Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) via native adapter - (Release date October 2, 2007))
- 2009 - BizTalk Server 2009 (First version to work with Visual Studio 2008)
- 2010 - BizTalk Server 2010 (First version to work with Visual Studio 2010 and Microsoft .NET 4.0)
- 2013 - BizTalk 2013 (First version to work with Visual Studio 2012 and Microsoft .NET 4.5)
The following is an incomplete list of the technical features in the BizTalk Server:
- The use of adapters to simplify integration to Line of Business Applications (e.g. Siebel, SAP, IFS Applications, JD Edwards, Oracle, Microsoft Dynamics CRM), Databases (Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, DB2) and other Technologies (Tibco, Java EE, etc.)
- Accelerators offer support for enterprise standards like RosettaNet, HL7, HIPAA, SWIFT, etc.
- Business Rule Engine (BRE). This is a Rete algorithm rule engine.
- Business Activity Monitoring (BAM), which allows a dashboard, aggregated (PivotTable) view on how the Business Processes are doing and how messages are processed.
- A unified Administration Console[disambiguation needed] for deployment, monitoring and operations of solutions, etc. on BizTalk servers in environment.
- Built-in EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) functionality supporting X12 and EDIFACT, as of BizTalk 2006 R2.
- Ability to do graphical modelling of business processes in Visual Studio, model documents with XML schemas, graphically mapping (with the assistance of functoids) between different schemas, and building pipelines to decrypt, verify, parse messages as they enter or exit the system via adapters.
- Users can automate business management processes via Orchestrations.
- BizTalk integrates with other Microsoft products like Microsoft Dynamics CRM, SQL Server, and SharePoint to allow interaction with a user participating in a workflow process.
- Extensive support for web services (consuming and exposing)
- RFID support, as of BizTalk 2006 R2.
The BizTalk Server runtime is built on a publish/subscribe architecture, sometimes called "content-based publish/subscribe". Messages are published into BizTalk, transformed to the desired format, and then routed to one or more subscribers.
BizTalk makes processing safe by serialization (called dehydration in Biztalk's terminology) - placing messages into a database while waiting for external events, thus preventing data loss. This architecture binds BizTalk with Microsoft SQL Server. Processing flow can be tracked by administrators using an Administration Console. BizTalk supports the transaction flow through the whole line from one customer to another. BizTalk orchestrations also implement long-running transactions.
The WCF Adapter set was added with 2006 R2. It includes: WCF-WSHttp, WCF-BasicHttp, WCF-NetTcp, WCF-NetMsmq, WCF-NetNamedPipe, WCF-Custom, WCF-CustomIsolated adapters. Microsoft also ships a BizTalk Adapter Pack that includes WCF-based adapters for Line of Business (LOB) systems. Currently, this includes adapters for SAP, Oracle database, Oracle E-Business Suite, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, PeopleSoft Enterprise and Siebel Systems.
Additional adapters (for Active Directory, for example) are available from third party Microsoft BizTalk core partners.
The main competitors are: